September 2021 Highlights

Mattress Industry

Sustainability in Action

Check out these recent environmental-related announcements from bedding and furniture makers.  

  • Dow Polyurethanes, a business division of Dow and Orrion Chemicals Orgaform together with Eco-mobilier, H&S Anlagentechnik and The Vita Group have inaugurated a pioneering mattress recycling plant as part of the RENUVA™ program. The RENUVA process will chemically recycle post-consumer polyurethane foam to create a new polyol, which is a key starting material to produce new polyurethane products including mattresses.  Learn more from Dow and program partners about the future of RENUVA™ on their September 29 webinar
  • The U.K.’s Harrison Spinks opened a mattress recycling facility in Scunthorpe, England, and outlined a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. The company also released its inaugural sustainability report which outlines a range of company actions in support of that plan. Read more in BedTimes. 
  • Brick-and-mortar and direct-to-consumer companies such as Floyd, Ikea and Sabai, as well as rental companies such as Cort, have created programs designed to extend the lifespan of their furniture. Read more in Furniture Today
  • Evi Brilleman, vice president of marketing and business development of Latexco, talks about the various certifications the company pursues to create organic and sustainable products. View the discussion here.

What is the Recycling Fee Used For? A Closer Look at Mattress Collection

To help retailers clearly explain the purpose of the recycling fee to consumers, we are introducing a short series in our newsletters that discusses activities funded by the fee and the environmental benefits. In this first installment, we discuss how the fee is used to create one of most successful mattress recycling programs in the world. 

MRC builds diverse collection networks to efficiently intercept mattresses before they are disposed in the solid waste stream. Accessible to consumers and businesses, these networks capitalize on existing infrastructure to capture mattresses that are dropped off at participating collection sites and events, disposed through a solid waste company’s curbside bulky item collection service, taken back by a retailer when a new mattress is delivered or discarded by large volume sources like hotels, universities and hospitals. 

“The fee makes all of these collection channels function by supplying no cost collection containers, transportation and recycling services for discarded mattresses.  MRC covers these costs to incentivize recycling over disposal,” said Justine Fallon, MRC’s Director of Operations. “The fee is also supporting our Commercial Volume Program, so businesses have access to designated free drop-off locations or no cost transportation.” 

As a result of this impressive collection network, more than 8 million mattresses have been recycled from across MRC’s program states, diverting over 300 million pounds of material from landfills.  For guidance on how to respond to other common questions you may receive from customers, check out our Customer FAQ.

What to Expect from CalRecycle Inspections

The California Department of Resource Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) conducts unannounced inspections of all mattress retailers, renovators and manufacturers to verify compliance with the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act that created our program in California. CalRecycle conducts in person inspections for brick-and-mortar locations and uses a virtual process for online sellers. 

Depending on your business’ role in the selling, manufacturing, renovating or distribution of mattresses, this could include: proof of registration with MRC, proof of fee collection, awareness of manufacturer/brand compliance and website monitoring, and that you are offering no-cost used mattress take back when delivering new mattresses.  Having all requested information readily available will assist CalRecycle in completing the inspection. Visit this link for a preparation checklist and more details. 

Collection Network

Watch Now – Promoting Your Collection Event 

The newest video in our “How To” series, Promoting Your Collection Event, explains how MRC assists event hosts with marketing materials, social media, advertising and more.  

“We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout on a nice late summer day and were thrilled to collect 149 pieces! This event would not have been as successful without your creative graphic designs and outreach toolkit.”  Bob Wall, Town of Fairfield, CT 

All “How To” videos can be found in the Resources section on our website.    

Need Signage?

Additional site signage will be available in November. View the collection site publicity toolkit for examples. Contact your program coordinator to discuss your needs no later than October 15. 

Tom Smith Joins Marketing and Communications Team

This month, MRC welcomed Tom Smith as Marketing Manager. Tom will be actively promoting the organization’s recycling and research efforts to industry and stakeholder audiences as well as overseeing development of MRC’s newsletters and industry resources, contributing to communication planning and strategy, and measuring performance of outreach efforts.  

Prior to joining MRC, Tom was the lead communicator at two Washington D.C. trade associations, Travelers Aid International and Airports Council International-North America. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Tom double-majored in journalism and political science. He and his wife, Esme, live near Annapolis and have three grown children. “I am excited to join MRC as our program grows and I am looking forward to assisting the team as mattress recycling expands into other states,” Tom said. 

Upcoming Events

Save Money, Reduce Waste and Increase Efficiency in Mattress Manufacturing

September 28  

12pm EST  During this lunch and learn webinar find out how the Sleep Products Sustainability Program (SP2) is helping California mattress manufacturers reduce waste during the manufacturing process while saving money and increasing efficiencies. Register here.

Closing the Loop for Mattresses: A new beginning with RENUVA™

September 29 

14:00-14:40 CET (8:00-8:40am EST)  In this free virtual event Dow and RENUVA™ partners will reflect on the future of the program and share a close look at what the recycling plant means for the bedding industry. Register here.

Polyurethanes Technical Conference 

October 5-7 

Denver, CO  MRC will provide updates on research activities at this annual meeting which is the longest-running polyurethanes conference in North America. It offers the unique convergence of industry expertise, professional networking, and regulatory insight. Learn more here.

NERC Fall Conference

October 12-14 

1-5pm EST daily  MRC is proud to be a sponsor at NERC’s Fall Conference. Say “hi” to our Northeast Program Coordinator Dan McGowan at our virtual booth. Details here.  

Jobs & the Economy Thanks to Recycling: Recycling Economic Information Studies 

October 26 

1:30-3:00pm EST  The Northeast Recycling Council shares information demonstrating the value of the recycling industry. Register here.